Ask

How much?

Why?

Why not?

Is this correct?

Will you?

What are you expecting?

And if I can?

What should I expect next?

What do you think?

Will you?

May I?

…or don’t and wonder.

Our “Word” is Earned – Good or Bad

“I’ll take care of that.”

At the moment you utter those words, those to whom you have made your promise will think one of two things:

  1. No he won’t.  He never gets anything done on time, and I need to plan accordingly.
  2. That’s a huge relief.  He will get it done, and he will get it done right.

Our “word” is known to our colleagues and clients, perhaps better than it is known to us.

So, is your word your bond, or is your word empty?

Your word is your reputation – guard it… jealously.

 

Shady Deal

After experiencing a product defect with a (not cheap) pair of sunglasses and being requested to complete a form and send the product back to them (at my expense) – I sent them the following:

My Actual Email: The finish on my T-F790 glasses is coming off and leaving black marks on my face. I understand I am supposed to fill out a form, ship them to you (my expense) and pay for you to ship a new pair back – really?

I am taking time out of my day to tell you about a quality issue you are experiencing with one of your products – isn’t this a favor to you? Won’t this help you (if you correct the problem) have a higher quality product and in turn happy clients, better profits, etc…

I’m happy to send you a picture of the problem, but you might want to reconsider your policy of putting your clients through such a hassle, when all we want is to help you and continue to advertise your product every time we wear your glasses.

Their Actual Response: (Space left blank intentionally)

When we talk about how exceptional our product or service is we have at least three opportunities to prove it.

The first is the client experience with the product or service (i.e., they make a purchase). The second is the performance of the product or service (i.e., is it as good as advertised?). The third is when we have an opportunity to back up our product or service (i.e., are we willing to really back up our promise?).

This company failed on all counts.

Pucker up Piggy

We’ve had a lot of complaints about customer service, so we are changing your department name from the order department to the customer service department.

Do we have new duties and responsibilities? Do we have new initiatives and objectives? Will we now be empowered to solve customer problems and complaints?

No. We’re just changing the name – it sounds more “servicy.”

When there are problems with an organization, when you are losing customers and profits are shrinking, you need a new plan not a new placard.  Of course, this means the senior leadership team needs to spend some time looking in the mirror and doing something about the reflection, and that just doesn’t make anyone feel good.

So we’ll put lipstick on a pig and hope no one notices, at least for awhile.

Deal with the brutal reality and make real progress, or ignore it and deal with an even more brutal reality later.

 

Passion and Integrity

Are you passionate about the sale or the product?  Is your eye on the close or the customer?

I’ve attended plenty of sales classes and I get it; find the pain…close the deal.  And truthfully, I intensely dislike lingering opportunities.  So, yes close the deal with a yes or no!

My point is – believe in what you are selling…passionately.  The sales happen when that passion comes through; your fervent belief helps convert the prospect into a believer and eventually a buyer.  If the product or service isn’t a match – you lose credibility when you start using “sales techniques” to close regardless of your ability to genuinely help them.

Sell with passion.  Sell with integrity…and always remember everyone is in sales.

Shhhhhh – Listen

There are certain people that you really look forward to speaking with – and maybe you never considered it before, but it may be that the reason you look forward to speaking with them, is simply because they are excellent listeners.

“Listeners” are rare, but a true joy with which to converse

  • They listen and ask questions
  • They don’t interrupt you
  • They give you their undivided attention
  • They show genuine interest in what you are saying
  • They don’t try to “one up” your story
  • Their attention isn’t dictated by your position in life
  • They are genuine and humble

And what is one of the hallmarks of the best sales people?  Yep, listening…and whatever your “called” profession might be– sales, management, product or service, public or private sector, blue or white collar, profit or non-profit – you are selling!

So are you listening?

 

 

The Bully is Gone

As the conversation in the meeting continues, it sparks some thoughts and ideas in our head.  We begin to straighten up in our chair as we begin to get excited about the idea.  The more we think about it, the better it sounds…the idea is more than just good; heck, it’s really good!   And then there’s the announcement from the front of the room, “does anyone have any comments?”  The door is open to share our own personal epiphany…and then…and then…we chicken out (sigh).

Just as our ideas are in “full bloom,” the child in us comes out.  We’re afraid the bully in the back of the class will laugh us down and the rest of the class will join in with an echo of laughter and spit wads.

Alas, our ideas lay dormant or worse they die.  And so does a potentially really good or even great idea.

The bully is gone.  He’s in the principal’s office.  Share the wealth of ideas that are uniquely yours.

Doggedness

Sometimes you reach a point where the best thing to do is to say, I gave this my best effort, but it didn’t work. It happens.

But, sometimes even though it defies logic at all indicators say, cut your losses and move on, you decide to persist and do “it” anyway.

 This is the time for real growth.

Don’t Tickle My Ears

Tickle my ears with valid sounding excuses about why one of our best clients decided to leave us in favor of a competitor.

Tickle my ears and rationalize why the rising star employee for which we had great hope, decided to give up on our company and leave for other opportunities.

Tickle my ears and tell me its okay that we are just surviving, after all everyone is just getting by these days.

Tickle my ears and tell me what I want to hear, tell me words of comfort and console me because if you told me the truth, I would have to face the brutal reality.  And that’s just not very pleasant.

If what you have been doing has not worked – then making excuses or ignoring the reality robs you of the opportunity to learn.  The value in experiencing difficult times is not just enduring it; the value comes from learning and making changes based on your experience.

Don’t tickle my ears, tell me truth – I truly want life more abundantly!

Lucky, right?

How is it that their business is doing so good, don’t they know this economy stinks?!

Maybe they…

  • Have a plan – and they had the audacity to implement their plan
  • Insisted on getting in front of their clients face-to-face routinely – instead of hiding behind emails
  • Are not afraid to try new ideas – and delved into social media even though they had no idea…
  • Are not afraid to face their fears – and they accepted that public speaking engagement
  • Asked older associates to share their wisdom… and asked younger associates to be part of the team

Maybe they refused to give up, give in, or hold a pity party and are determined to make a way.

Or maybe they’re just lucky.